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IN FOCUS


LUXURY SHIP ORDER BOOK


2020


Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Seven Seas Splendor


Mountain gorillas


Crystal Cruises: Crystal Endeavor Virgin Voyages: Scarlet Lady


Silversea: Silver Origin and Silver Moon


Raja Ampat, Indonesia


Ponant ships


great option for clients looking for tropical adventure in places like Costa Rica, the Amazon, the Maldives, the Seychelles and Papua New Guinea, thanks to their gorgeous infinity pools and underwater viewing lounges. Meanwhile, upscale river operator Aqua Expeditions this year launches its first ocean-going ship. Aqua Blu, with just 30 suites, will explore Indonesia’s Spice Islands and the pristine Raja Ampat archipelago with the ambience of a posh private yacht. New destinations such as Raja Ampat are opening up for 2020 and beyond, while old ones are being revisited. SeaDream Yacht Club will sail to Israel in 2021, calling at Ashdod and Haifa. The company is also venturing into the Black Sea in 2021, as are Crystal Cruises, Oceania Cruises and Azamara, all responding to pent-up demand and an overcrowded Mediterranean. The region has been off limits since 2014, due to instability in Crimea, and while Yalta and Sevastopol are still no-go areas, Istanbul, the gateway to the Black Sea, is making a return. The expedition sector, meanwhile, gets ever-more extreme. Ponant’s hybrid-powered


Le Commandant Charcot will take big spenders to the geographic North Pole in 2021, while Silversea will undertake its second expedition through the almost impenetrable Northeast Passage in 2020.


Changing tides Voluntourism continues to be in demand. Crystal Cruises has announced several new volunteering excursions, among them working at the Samui Animal Shelter in Koh Samui and planting trees in New Zealand to help protect the yellow-eyed penguins of Dunedin. Citizen science projects are growing too; passengers on select cruises with Silversea and Saga can now join marine mammal surveys run by conservation charity Orca. Sustainability, though, is likely to become a


hotter topic. Just a couple of years ago, cruise lines were boasting about private jet projects, but as we move into 2020, a hybrid-powered ship is more of a headline-grabber. Upscale Lindblad Expeditions announced this year that it was becoming 100% carbon neutral, offsetting emissions from all 13 of its ships. Whether others in the luxury sector will follow remains to be seen.


Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Apex Ponant: Le Bellot and Le Jacques Cartier Lindblad Expeditions: National Geographic Endurance Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection: Evrima Quark: Ultramarine


2021


Scenic: Scenic Eclipse II Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection: TBC Ponant: Commandant Charcot Seabourn: Seabourn Venture


Hapag-Lloyd Cruises: Hanseatic Spirit Virgin Voyages: Valiant Lady


Celebrity Cruises: TBC Lindblad Expeditions: National Geographic Resolution Silversea: Silver Dawn Crystal Cruises: TBC


2022


Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection: TBC Crystal Cruises: TBC Seabourn: TBC Celebrity Cruises: TBC Virgin Voyages: TBC Cunard: TBC Silversea: TBC Oceania Cruises: TBC


62 ASPIRE NOVEMBER 2019


aspiretravelclub.co.uk


CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK


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